Best friends prove to their kids near blindness won't stop their job success

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STONEWOOD, W.Va. (WDTV)- Some of you across our state were recognized this week for your efforts in not letting your disability hold you back from succeeding at your job. 5 News sat down with two local women who are nearly blind and do this every day. They're best friends, share a workplace, and show their kids, who also have visual impairments, that near-blindness won't stop your success.

"She was like the little sister I didn't have," said Susan Richards.
"And she's like the sister I don't have because I don't have any sisters," Diane Bennett laughs.

Bennett and Richards have been through it all together.

"We've been in each other's weddings, we've been at each other's children's births," Richards lists.

And now just a hallway separates them at work.

"We both just strove to become independent. We both worked really hard," Richards continued. "We wanted to prove to our children that despite having a disability that you could make something of yourself."

Both their children have visual impairments, but they've learned from their moms. Just last month Bennett's daughter, who is blind, graduated from college.

"Let them know as they grow up as a disabled person, 'hey you can do whatever you set your mind to,'" said Bennett.

The road isn't without obstacles. The two friends say transportation is their biggest setback. As for jobs, they've gone into interviews where their abilities are automatically doubted.

"You know, 'how are you going to do this? How are you going to do that? You know, [you're asked] more so than "normal people" would have to explain things. That's a little hard sometimes," explains Richards.

When they're reading maps and giving instructions sometimes people are surprised. They're not. They say whatever your disability, you are capable.

"Push forward and don't limit yourself," Richards said.

They say every small step counts when you're working toward your goal.